Furey: New Technologies, Sensible Policies Needed to Get Toronto Back on the Move
Candidate would harness drones, ferries, common-sense planning to fight congestion
NEWS – May 23, 2023
TORONTO – The old ways of dealing with gridlock are no longer enough if we’re to get Toronto back on its feet. We need take urgent action to speed up transportation, Mayoral Candidate Anthony Furey said today.
“We are now the third most congested city in North America, and Torontonians lost almost 120 hours in traffic in 2022,” Furey noted. “That’s a near-60 per cent increase over the previous year . It’s strangling our City – and getting worse.”
There are both sensible and innovative steps we can take, Furey added, to keep Toronto on the move, including:
- direct staff to develop plans to make Toronto a world leader in the deployment of drones for deliveries and other transportation uses
- holding competitions with the tech, engineering and other sectors for innovative gridlock solutions
- finishing the Ontario Line and the long-stalled Eglinton Crosstown project before starting any major new transit infrastructure
- no more concrete dividers or bike lanes on major streets – especially in areas facing major construction
- reviewing the disruptive closure of major thoroughfares such as the DVP and Lakeshore Blvd. for cycling and other events, and
- explore plans for deploying a Scarborough to Mississauga ferry service
- keeping the eastern Gardiner: Flawed as it is, it remains a vital artery for now
“I’m an optimist,” Furey concluded. “We can get Toronto moving to reach its potential. But that has to start with new ideas and common-sense planning to speed our City up again.”
Mike Bendixen | Senior Media Advisor
The Anthony Furey for Mayor Campaign
Furey: We Can Fix This!
The Issue: Traffic Congestion and the Threat to Our Way of Life
Here’s what’s wrong with the way things are:
Back in January, leading traffic analytics company INRIX published rankings for the world’s most traffic-congested cities. Toronto came in at seventh. When you’re up against megalopolises like London, Paris and Bogota, Columbia – that’s saying something.
Heavy traffic isn’t just bad for air quality. The hours spent in gridlock take precious time away from our families, add immeasurably to our working hours while stifling productivity, hinder small businesses along impassable routes and impede our vital tourism sector.
Here’s what I’m going to do to fix it:
Introducing drone technology for city-wide deliveries is one example of a new idea worth exploring to get delivery trucks off our streets and highways: Amazon, for instance, plans to launch its drone service, called Prime Air, in a matter of months, fulfilling orders within 30 minutes. If the world’s largest package management company can do it, so can Toronto. There are many more such examples.
Ferries linking eastern and western Toronto along Lake Ontario, by contrast, is an old idea for use in a new way: Commuter ferry services would bypass lakeshore and downtown traffic snarls entirely and relieve existing congestion.
On another front, City Hall needs to return to sensible infrastructure planning. Step One: Look at a map. See how different infrastructure projects in close proximity impact another – especially when it comes to traffic flow. Don’t start a new major project until you’ve finished current ones. Take down ideologically driven impediments to traffic and emergency responders like bike lanes, which are underused anyway. An open competition for new ways to boost mobility and keep our City on the go: Ferries between eastern and western parts of our City and downtown rooftop drone deliveries instead of trucks, as just two examples.
Here’s what the benefits will be for the people of Toronto:
Improved quality of life and air quality with fewer idling cars and trucks. Higher productivity and competitiveness. A boost to businesses and tourism. But above all – a City that works again. We can fix this!
 All stats courtesy CBC: “Toronto ranks 3rd most congested city in North America” – January 17, 2023
 Source: Global News, January 11, 2023
 Source: Marketer Insider Intelligence, January 1, 2023